Skip to main content

Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight review

With so many winter bib tight options available from Castelli, is the Sorpasso RoS the one that matches your needs?

Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight
(Image: © Josh Ross)

Our Verdict

The Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight is a specialised solution that is perfect for ultra-cold, but dry, riding conditions

For

  • - Progetto X2 Air chamois pad is super comfortable
  • - Reflective panels at the back of the leg
  • - Zippered lower leg makes entry easier
  • - Gore Infinium fabric is totally windproof

Against

  • - Limited to the coldest rides
  • - Logos will crack and peel off

Castelli offers a lot of options when it comes to winter tights. Making matters even more complicated, many of them offer similar features with overlapping temperature ranges and similar prices. We've already covered the Castelli Sorpasso RoS bib tight, minus the wind designation, and loved it. Meanwhile, in our list of the best winter bib tights for cycling in the cold, the Castelli Tutto Nano bib tight also makes an appearance. Those two options are both fantastic but they have a lot of overlap with each other as well as with the Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight. 

There's no better way to figure out how each product stands alone than to spend time with them, and we've put plenty of miles into the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight, so now we are ready to share what makes them unique. If you are looking for a winter bib tight to keep you warm on the coldest rides then keep reading to see if these are the right option for you. 

Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight rear view

You can expect those logos to come off but otherwise these will hold up well and see you through the coldest riding you manage to do.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Design and aesthetics

To understand the design of the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight you have to start by understanding how it fits into the Castelli lineup. It's also worth understanding that the suggested temperature ranges that Castelli references are more of a good, better, best than specific ranges. The way we use these ranges is by looking at the lower number (the claimed lowest suitable temperature for the garment). If this number is lower than that of another garment, in the same range, then you are looking at the warmer option. If that number is very close to another garment, then they are probably from a different range and offer similar performance but with other differences. 

Getting a little more specific, that means this is part of the Rosso Corsa lineup and it's the warmest out of the winter options. Rosso Corsa is the designation for race-focused clothing and it's the most aerodynamic. It doesn't mean that's better in every situation but it does tend to carry the highest price and the most technology. 

There is also the Polare 3 bib tight with similar cold-weather performance. The difference with that option is that it's not part of the Rosso Corsa line and in particular, that brings with it a different chamois. The Progetto X2 Air seamless seat pad is one of the best chamois options on the market. Choosing the Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight means that's what you get. 

The top layer of the Progetto X2 Air Seamless seat pad is a soft fleece with no seams. It sits against the outside of the bibs with only stitching around the exterior. It creates a pocket where the foam of the pad sits and the pad floats free, but not completely. On the underside, there's a single line of stitching that joins the left and right side of the tights. In some parts of that stitch, it goes all the way through and holds the pad. 

The real magic of the Castelli chamois though isn't its ability to move around. What's unique is three small gel inserts. You can't differentiate them with your fingers but under each sit bone and the front of the pelvis is where they sit. There's an extra density there that helps cushion the bones over long rides. 

Beyond the chamois, what makes the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tights unique in the lineup is the cold-weather performance. I'm not sure I believe that you'd be comfortable at 23F / -5C, but these are significantly heavier fabrics than the other Rossa Corsa options. The piece that really adds to the weight, as well as the performance, is Gore-Tex Infinium X-fast fleece-backed fabric. Castelli covers the thighs, cup, lower abdomen, and down over the knees with this fabric. 

Move away from the leading areas and the design is the same as that of the lighter weight bib tights. There's a zipper in the rear of each leg flanked with a reflective strip. The lighter areas are using the Nanoflex 3G fabric. You might recall that name from some of the best arm warmers for cycling and if you like the Castelli arm warmers you'll likely be happy to see the fabric show up here. It’s a water-resistant softshell technology that does a great job breathing and never feels like it can actually resist water but will handle light rain without issue.

Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight detail showing the back of the Gore-Tex Infinium X-fast fleece-backed fabric

The back of the front panels is a thick fleece that stops wind completely and holds a lot of heat (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Performance

The more seasons, and experience, I've had riding through December and January the more I've come to understand that most people under dress. If you think you can't handle deep winter conditions it's most likely that you are under-dressing. In a lot of cases that might mean you are just following the manufacturers suggestions but ignore that and dress warmer. 

In fact, if you are riding in deep winter then the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight should be your go-to option. The suggested temp range is lower than most people feel safe riding in but ignore that and treat these as your option for dry weather near freezing. Castelli doesn't claim wet weather performance but just as a reminder, they will not work if there's rain in the forecast.

If it's going to be near freezing but with rain then add a pair of hardshell trousers on top of these. What's nice about the design is that it works well both on its own and under a second layer. The warmth isn't coming from blocking the wind. Instead, the Infinium fabric is so thick and dense that it almost feels like foam. It absolutely stops wind but more than that it provides an insulating layer for your own body heat. 

If you are looking to conquer cold but dry weather, these are perfect even for mornings where it dips below freezing. As an example, I've been pairing these bib tights with the Castelli Flanders Warm/Neck Warmer base layer, Assos Mille GT Ultraz Evo Winter Jacket, Castelli head thingy, and a POC Thermal cap. With that combination, the coldest dry weather I see, around 30F / -1C, is no problem. Riding for hours at a time in those temperatures is comfortable. If it warms up late in the afternoon then stripping the cap, neck warmer, and gloves is enough to keep me from overheating even as high as 45F / 7C. 

Do make sure you leave some extra time for getting these on though. That same thick Infinium fabric that makes sure they work in the cold brings with it less stretch. There's no need to size up but it will take some time to get these pulled on. Even once they are on, I always need to spend some time adjusting the fit and making sure that the inner thigh is comfortable and the knee is in the right place. 

Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight detail of the Gore-Tex Infinium X-fast fleece-backed fabric

The front is the wind blocking Infinium but by leaving the back of the knee lighter and more flexible Castelli avoids chafing issues.  (Image credit: Josh Ross)

Verdict

If you want the secret to long-distance riding through December and January, the Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight is part of it. The Progetto X2 air is a low-bulk, high density, pad that's amazing for long-distance riding. The thick, almost like foam, Infinium fabric on the leading edges of the Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight does a great job against the wind and cold. It's also a design that works under hardshell trousers when it's raining. These are a viable solution for whatever the worst weather you ride in might look like. 

The only design detail I listed in the negatives is that logos will peel and crack off. This is a long-running issue and some of the newer designs use a rubber logo that have been sewn on. The bigger drawback to these is that they aren't going to apply to everyone's riding. A bib tight this warm is a specialised option that might be too warm for many riders' needs, but if you want to be kept cosy down to freezing and a little below, the Sorpasso RoS Wind is an easy bib tight option to recommend. 

Tech Specs: Castelli Sorpasso RoS Wind bib tight 

  • Price: £170.00 / $209.99 / €169.95 / AU$289.00
  • Available Colours: Black
  • Available Sizes: S-3XL
  • Weight: 297g size small

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month*

Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

after your trial you will be billed £4.99 $7.99 €5.99 per month, cancel anytime. Or sign up for one year for just £49 $79 €59

Join now for unlimited access

Try your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

Josh hails from the Pacific Northwest of the United States but would prefer riding through the desert than the rain. He will happily talk for hours about the minutia of cycling tech but also has an understanding that most people just want things to work. He is a road cyclist at heart and doesn't care much if those roads are paved, dirt, or digital. Although he rarely races, if you ask him to ride from sunrise to sunset the answer will be yes.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Orbea Orca Aero, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Trek Checkpoint, Priority Continuum Onyx